Sunday, 31 October 2010

All about SOMETHING

First of all ‘Tons of Thanks’ to all you blogger friends out there who have still stuck on even after I have been on blogging hiatus for more than 3 months now. I had a valid reason guys, I let the ‘Cat out of the Bag’ in my last post. I was so touched by your wishes, it feels so good to be a part of a blogging community which is loving, kind and appreciative.

My book was released on the 19th October in Nagpur. Published by Denett & Co., a Nagpur based publishing house. It was a an ecstatic moment for me, more so as I had never imagined that I would be writing a book in a span of two months after stepping off the shores of ‘The British Isles’. It was a dream which materialized after a chance meeting with my co-author ‘Ashutosh Shrivastava’ just three days after leaving Lancaster.

In the beginning it all seemed too hard as I was not used to the weather in India. I had to shelve all the plans to meet up friends and family in India whom I had not met in three years. It needed a lot of brainstorming with Ashutosh and tons of hours on my trusty laptop to come out with the book. I was closeted in my bedroom with my laptop missing out on all the fun and relaxation I had been looking forward too.

Since both of us have had experience in the media Industry and especially in newspaper Industry, it was the best topic to write a book on. Our book delves on the current status of the Indian newspaper industry and the radical changes it needs to adopt in today’s volatile market in order to survive. It is an easy read without unnecessarily using big words to baffle the reader. We wanted a book which could be read by any person even someone who is not from the media world.

Hey, I had warned you in my last post about me babbling about the book and most of you had promised to tolerate me.

The book release ceremony was simple and was held at a three star Hotel in Nagpur. We had dignitaries for the book release and also the keynote speech on the book after which we served ‘High Tea’ and mingled around with the paparazzi answering questions.
The book was released by ‘ Mr. Devendra Fadnavis’ MLA, South-West Nagpur who has also been the youngest ex-Mayor of Nagpur. He gave a short and sweet speech about the book and appreciated our writing efforts.

The keynote speaker was ‘ Mr. Sanjay Arora, CEO of Shells Advertising Inc.  He spoke about the changing facets of the Newspaper industry worldwide and supported our beliefs about how the Indian Newspaper industry needs to change in order to survive.

It was an event which will forever stay close to my heart as I had many of my family and friends attending the function to show their support and love. The only hitch being hubs and my two sisters who were not able to make it to the function.

My mothers words are still ringing in my ears ‘You were the only women sitting on the dais amongst all this men. you have made us proud’.These words just made me forget all the hardships and sleepless nights. It was all worth it.

I am getting kinda sentimental. So before I make you tearful. Here are a few photos from the function.
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The Venue of the Book Release- Hotel Centre Point,Solitaire, Nagpur

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The Paparazzi :P

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Me- Introducing our guests

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The Book Release
Amit Mujumdar ( Denett & Co.), Sanjay Arora(Keynote Speaker), Devendra Fadnavis(Guest of Honor),
Ashutosh Shrivastava (Co-author) and Vinita Kherdekar (Me)

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Family, friends and people from media industry


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Mr. Devendra Fadnavis declaring the book as released

P.S: Thank you all for being such lovely people. I would love to meet up bloggers in Mumbai. Are you guys listening? You have my email id…drop me a line.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Well, I'll be damned, finally, I am a published writer

I know, I know that I have been a bad girl and have completely disappeared from the blogging scene since past two months. Please forgive me for doing this disappearing act. Life dropped me smack on my bottom and I was busy trying to drag my ass towards normalcy.


Your good wishes for a safe trip home really did wonders and I am loving it a lot in 'India'. Only thorn on my side is the weather in Nagpur which is merciless. I came back when the temperature was in the upper thirty in degree Celsius which was nearly 25 degrees above what I have been used to, for the past three years. You can very well imagine me slowly getting baked.


Moving here from UK has been quite stressful with packing being the major pain in the ‘you know where’. Giving away all the stuff I had collected was the most difficult part. Each time I move I feel I leave behind a part of myself hidden in some corner of every house I ever lived. It is becoming difficult to let go of things, places, people and emotions as I grow older. There I go again with my sentimental bullshit. This is a fun blog and fun blog it will be so pardon my transgression for this one time.


It feels GOOOOOD to be back and talk to you all. I got very sweet emails and messages from lots of you asking about whether I was alive and well. I am sure I have missed really great posts on all your blogs. I am going to catch up real soon.


Coming back to the point of my disappearance, I have a HUGE  news to share with you. I am finally fulfilling a dream which I nurtured while writing this blog and which most bloggers dream of. I am finally going to be a published writer.


I am the co-author of a book called ‘Newspaper –an untapped medium’. The book will be released in India very soon. But I have something to share with my friends in the meantime.


Ta-Da!!! Here I present to you the cover page of my Book.









I have been bursting to spill it all out, to all of you for quite some time now, but I had to restrain myself from letting out this secret. There are still days when I look at the book cover and wonder whether it is actually true.


Then I pinch myself hard and realize, oh yes! my dream has come true.


P.S: Please tolerate my babble about the book in the coming blog posts. You won’t be able to shut me up anyways. After all I am super excited.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The winners of the Caption Contest 16 ‘You think you are funny?’  

gkam: 'This is what happens when coffee runs out!'

Bikramjit: 'Life is Tough... Just three years and I am already WORN out...'





Congratulations!!!

Drop me a mail at and I will mail you the trophy.

Hope to see you in another round of Caption Contest this Wednesday. 

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Caption Contest 16 'You Think you are Funny?'

This is a caption contest ‘You think you are funny?’

Please Write a Caption for the picture below :



Good luck!

P.S: For those people who would like to know the rules, please check here

Monday, 23 August 2010

Winner of Caption Contest 15 ' You think you are Funny?'

The winner of the Caption Contest 15 ‘You think you are funny?’  

Dr. Roshan : 'OK, you guard the cookies while I find a place to hide.. hey !! weren't
                          there three of them ?'




Congratulations!!!

Drop me a mail at and I will mail you the trophy.

Hope to see you in another round of Caption Contest this Wednesday. 

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Caption Contest 15 'You Think you are Funny?'

This is a caption contest ‘You think you are funny?’

Please Write a Caption for the picture below :



All the Best. 

P.S: For those people who would like to know the rules, please check here

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Winner of Caption Contest 14 ' You think you are Funny?'

The winner of the Caption Contest 14 ‘You think you are funny?’  

1) Shahid MukadamAnd they say people look their best when they are asleep!!!


  Congratulations!!!

Drop me a mail at and I will mail you the trophy.

Hope to see you in another round of Caption Contest this Wednesday. 

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Caption Contest 14 'You Think you are Funny?'

This is a caption contest ‘You think you are funny?’

Please Write a Caption for the picture below :


This is to clarify that the chap wearing white is asleep and not mentally challenged.



All the Best. 

P.S: For those people who would like to know the rules, please check here

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Winner of Caption Contest 13 ' You think you are Funny?'

The winner of the Caption Contest 13 ‘You think you are funny?’  
1) Rajlakshmi: 'The H(L)appy Family'


  Congratulations!!!

Drop me a mail at and I will mail you the trophy.
Hope to see you in another round of Caption Contest this Wednesday. 

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Caption Contest 13 'You Think you are Funny?'

This is a caption contest ‘You think you are funny?’

Please Write a Caption for the picture below :

  












All the Best. 

P.S: For those people who would like to know the rules, please check here

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Winner of Caption Contest 12

The winners of the Caption Contest 12 ‘You think you are funny?’ 

1) Rishi: ‘Life's perfect... except when I have to get up to pee’

2) Lakshmi Rajan: ‘Bedded to the computer’

 
Congratulations!!!


Drop me a mail at and I will mail you the trophy.

Hope to see you in another round of Caption Contest this Wednesday.


Saturday, 31 July 2010

NRI Ki Jubaani - When a NRI Returns… Observations and Experiences



As I stepped on the tarmac with tired feet and luggage which was growing heavier by the minute….I was hit by muggy and humid air which sat on my body like a wet blanket. Entering the airport terminal, the cacophony of countless voices and the jostling bodies made it all seem surreal. The sour faced policemen were herding all of us like cattle with their baton and looking down at us with disdain as if we were more of ‘dharti pe bojh’ than 'humans’. Hubs looked at me and said ‘Welcome to India’.


The word ‘NRI’ (Non Resident Indian or Non Returning Indian or Non Required Indian)  lost its importance the moment ‘IT’' boom pierced the eardrums of Indians in the year 2004. The frenetic pace at which the ‘IT ‘crowd hauled abroad actually spoiled chances of ‘Non- IT’ people like us, to stand out in the crowd. Now, nearly each house  has someone in ‘pardes’ (foreign land) working for a software firm or doing a Masters in USA, UK or Australia.


With the increasing economic development in India and the growth of opportunities, the tide is turning now and many NRI’s like me are coming home. This decision is met with raised eyebrows and skeptical looks by people who moved abroad many years ago and have now settled down on ‘phoren’ shores. They think it is a bad move to give up the lifestyle one gets used to while living abroad. On the other hand, my Indian brethren are doubtful of my return and are already making it their business to sniff out the real reason. Their assumption being ‘They were not able to make it big  outside India, tch tch..losers, so they have come back’. 


After living for 3 years in Lancaster, UK, hubs and I decided to move back to India. Since this was our first journey back home in 3 years, we were quite excited to meet our family and friends. The image of India we carried in our mind and heart was of an India which we had left 3 years ago. Though we had heard of the rapid economic growth in India, the mall culture and increasing disposable income, the cultural shock that I felt was even larger than what it was when I landed in UK.


My hometown Nagpur, was a laid back place earlier where the cows and street dogs could sleep undisturbed, bang in the middle of a main road during rush hour. Now, the cows and dogs are still there but the pace of life has become faster and flashier, standard of living has increased, wallets have become fatter and people have become very lifestyle conscious.


The steep increase in cost of things right from milk to dining at a restaurant jolted my brain so much that it did a flip inside my skull. I had to unscrew the top of my head  to flip it back in its correct place. Some of these prices can now compete in the European market and even win.

After I landed on Indian soil, I realized that the things which earlier did not bother me much and also some aspects of being an Indian which I took for granted have gotten amplified by many degrees.


On one hand India has some things which are incomparable with any place and which I terribly missed during my stay abroad.
  • The amazing variety of food and super delicious desserts. My taste buds did a tango and jumped with joy the moment they came across exotic flavors they had missed in the past three years.
  • The luxury of having someone helping you clean up dishes and mop up the house. No longer do I have to worry about broken nails and aching back.
  • Family support and love you receive from them, help you to face problems
  • There is never a dull moment because of numerous festivals, marriage functions and birthday parties. Social life is alive and kicking.
  • Shops stay open quite late, unlike Lancaster, where the shops shut at 5 pm and the town wears a deserted look in the evening. No need to plan in advance when I want to go shopping.
  • The colorful festivals, colorful clothes, bollywood movies and Indian culture which attracts many people to India from all over the world. I missed ‘Diwali’ for the past three years. Gone are the days, when I would be wrapped up in warm clothes and trudging across town in freezing weather on Diwali, envious of friends having a great time in India.
  • Have said bye bye to depressing wet and cold weather and have said hello to bucketful of sunshine.

    And on the other hand less said the better :


    • A few days back I was on the road driving my bike behind a shiny Mercedes Benz. Down rolled the car window, a pair of puckered lips peeped out and a splash of red Betel Nut juice colored the road. It was disconcerting to see an educated person being so callous. I feel that the education has been wasted on such people who don’t care about their own country. Not that I did not see people spitting on the street in UK, but these people were very few and far in between.  
    • If you are bored and stressed while driving your vehicle in India, honking the  horn at random frequent intervals even when the stretch of road in front of you is relatively free is the favorite pastime. Better still, when you are the 20th vehicle in a row standing at a traffic signal and the moment the signal turns green, it is your prime responsibility to keep your finger pressed down on your car horn. Because the ‘duffer’ standing first in line is color blind and the 19 vehicles standing behind him will uniformly blast their horns to let him know that the signal has changed to green.
    • The first day I landed in India, all sounds on the road seem to be coming out through super boom amplifiers. It hurt my ears and I realized that the noise pollution is extremely high. On my first bike ride on Nagpur roads there were quite a few times when I jumped out of my skin when a horn blasted close to my ears and my heart shot up through my throat and just about stopped falling on the road but was saved because my mouth was shut.
    • Indians are in a hurry to be ahead of everyone, be it at a traffic signal, standing in a queue or when getting down from a bus, train or plane. Our genes have that special something which makes us ruthless and impolite, if we see someone else getting ahead of us. We will push people, stamp on feet and have a complete disregard  for normal human behavior the moment a train approaches a station or the plane taxies at the airport. These situations trigger a panic reaction and we switch on cell phones even when the sign in the plane says it’s dangerous, we will haul luggage and block the aisle in the train (or Plane) and just not care if we are disturbing other passengers.
    • A simple job of renewing your driving license can cause you so much grief. Bureaucracy and red tape will urge you to seek help from a middleman who will charge a couple of hundred bucks to make your life simple. Thus we get caught in the cycle of corruption.
      Indians are known worldwide for these bad habits and in spite of taking such giant strides towards becoming a super power, the attitude of ‘Sab Chalta Hai’ is the biggest hurdle on our path to success.


      Living on foreign soil means you have  limited rights plus a totally different culture which just does not make you feel at home. The decision to move back to India was prompted by a combination of reasons.  Mainly to be close to family and share our joys and sorrow with them and to explore the booming economy of India. Also, both hubs and I felt the need to belong, a desire to be identified with Indian community and culture. A desire to get back to the social circle and reach out to old friends and not feel isolated. 


      We landed here with such a dream in our minds to find out that our situation has become like a “laundryman’s dog” (Dhobi Ka Kutta) who neither belongs here nor there. We lost touch with friends in India and many others have moved on and we are no longer a part of their tightly knit circle of friends. We had to leave behind the friendships which we made in Lancaster, relations have scattered and language of friendship now needs an interpreter. The bright spot in this changed situation is family, which thankfully has not changed and has welcomed us with open arms.


      I am confident that in a matter of months, we will learn to realign our thoughts and behavior to match with those of people here. Very soon, we will stop cribbing about the dust and the pollution. Very soon we will ask our NRI friends ‘When do you plan to be back home?’ and thus our assimilation would be complete and we would no longer be NRI’s.



      Wednesday, 28 July 2010

      Caption Contest 12 ‘You think you are funny?’

      This is a caption contest ‘You think you are funny?’
      Please Write a Caption for the picture below

      sideways  

      All the Best.


      P.S: For those people who would like to know the rules, please check here.


      Monday, 26 July 2010

      Winner of Caption Contest 11 ' You think you are Funny?'

      Apologies for delay in announcing the winner. I am still recovering from my move across the continents. Thanks for your patience friends :)

      There were so many wonderful entries this time, it was quite difficult for me to choose the winners.

      The winners of the 11th  edition of the caption contest are :

      Ritu : "Damn! Look at his beer belly, I'll pass"
      Ravi : 'Damn - They don't make it as strong as they used to :('



      Congratulations !!!

      Please drop me a mail at  and I will mail you the trophy.

      Hope to see you all this Wednesday for another round of Caption Contest.

      Wednesday, 21 July 2010

      Caption Contest 11 'You Think you are Funny?'

      This is a caption contest ‘You think you are funny?’

      Please write a caption for the picture below

















      All the Best.

      P.S: For those people who would like to know the rules, please check here.

      Sunday, 18 July 2010

      Winner of Caption Contest 10

      This is caption contest ‘You think you are funny?’

      The winner of the 10th  edition of the caption contest is :



      The NRI: 'Oh come on, SMILE....'

      Congratulations !!!

      Please drop me a mail at  and I will mail you the trophy.

      Hope to see you all this Wednesday for another round of Caption Contest.

      Wednesday, 14 July 2010

      Caption Contest 10 ‘You think you are Funny?’

      This is a caption contest ‘You think you are funny?’

      Please write a caption for the picture below




      All the Best.

      P.S: For those people who would like to know the rules, please check here.

      Monday, 12 July 2010

      Killerk (Clerk –1989) – A Movie Review



      To boldly go where no man has gone before
      A movie from bygone era when ‘Clerks’ or ‘Sarkari Babus’ were still honest and do gooders and thought taking Baksheesh to push paper was so not kosher. Manoj Kumar plays the part of a poor patriotic clerk called (so clich├ęd) ‘Bharat’ at the Ministry of Defence. The one who always had a hand on his face and has played a ‘Bharat Maa ka beta’ in most of his movies.




      The movie starts with ‘Pitaji’, Ashok Kumar writhing in pain because of a heart attack. The family is distraught as they don’t have money to pay ‘Doctor babu ki fees’. Bharat comes to the rescue with the perfect medicine for a heart attack. To hell with modern medicine..if you have a couple of pencil cells and ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ ka song, you will have the patient singing and marching in no time. The doctors just fool us all with CPR and hospital bills. Daddy deario starts singing and marching in no time as the wifey and baccha log look on with pride. The miracle of a few batteries and a patriotic song belting out from the tape recorder,  has you confused if the movie is actually a comedy. And then, you get introduced to a whole array of characters :
      1) An alcohol guzzling, disabled and face burned in the war elder brother Ram who suspects his wife of earning a fast buck by playing hooky.
      2) A younger brother Balaram and sister Tulsi who make a a doorknob look smarter when it comes to acting skills. All these characters seem to be post doctorates in the field of overacting  and over reacting. 
      Bharat’s old flame Sneh has left him to marry Vijay Kapoor who is rich and crooked. Vijay Kapoor wants a fat government defence contract so along with Sneh he plots a plan and makes Bharat majboor into stealing a file from his boss ‘Khan’ (Defence chief) and in return pay him boatloads of cash. Bharat’s family moves into a mansion and repossesses their ‘Girvi padi Jameen’ and all izz well.  Meanwhile another buxom babe ‘Pooja’ who is Bharat’s colleague is struck by constipated cupid which propels her to don gymnastics gear to seduce Bharat. She proudly says ‘I have won many cups in gymnastics  in school and college’ to which Bharat replies ‘but now I would like to go and have a cup of tea (rather than see your body double do the gymnastics)’.
      And then start the twists and turns in the story which make your head reel. The director has taken ‘Is kahani mein emotion hai, drama hai, tragedy hai’ too much to heart’.
      • Balaram robs a bank with his girlfriend, (Ms. Torn Jeans and trying too hard to be tapori) ‘Sonu’. He gets arrested and is thrown in jail.
      • Sister Tulsi gets raped by a gangster when she goes to him for help to get Balaram released.
      • Gymnastics babe is illegitimate and gets molested by her own father and kills him. Just before he dies in the hospital he transfers his property to the daughter.
      • Pitaji comes to know of Bharat’s treachery and finally dies of heart attack. The tape recorder and the battery cells failed to revive him this time Tchah.
      • Elder brother gets mighty angry when he comes to know the reason of Pitaji’s demise and wants to kill Bharat.
      • Balaram the bank robber clad in shiny black leather and holding a machine gun escapes from jail and saves Bharat from getting killed by Ram.
      • Old flame ‘Sneh’ comes back to her senses and suddenly realizes that she has been a selfish money hungry shark.
      • Ram finds out that Mrs.. hooky hooker is actually selling her blood to provide for his food and alcohol and becomes forlorn for suspecting her.
      After all this hum di dum drama-shama, Bharat turns over a new leaf and co-operates with authorities to nail Vijay Kapoor, who has planned operation Red Rose to assassinate the Prime Minister. Brother Balaram and Ms. Torn Jeans both die helping Bharat Bhai.
      Fee fi fo fum…I smell the blood of a dead scum…Vijay Kapoor is surrounded by the policia and has no place to go. He  shoots his wife instead of Bharat and kills her before he blows himself up. The government is ever so thankful of Bharat for saving the Prime Minister of India.
      Here are some of the cheesy dialogues which are repeated over and over again by some of the characters a la Mogambo style throughout the movie– ‘Mogambo Khush Hua’
      1) Prem Chopra aka Sadhuram is a peon at the Ministry - ‘Isme mein bhi ek point hai’
      2) Satish Shah – Bharat’s immediate boss - ‘Hindi mein bolo’
      3) Om Shivpuri  aka Jindal - ‘Beauty, Beauty, Beauty-  Sweety, Sweety, Sweety’ (I kinda liked it…so poetic..)
             

                                           
      Even though the movie has all capable and popular actors…the story and the dialogues can only give them so much leg room for artistic output. It feels, as though the actors were held at gun point and forcibly made to act in the movie. The songs are passable except for ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaeja khushi ke geet gayeja‘ which is wonderful. Manoj Kumar as Bharat grates on your nerves with his typical histrionics and his well fed frame, belies the fact that he is from a poor family. Rather, the entire family looks well fed and healthy when they are supposed to be shown as being hungry for many days. The heroines are attracted to a man wearing a bad wig, torn clothes and zero personality which is completely unbelievable.
      This movie is disjointed and fractured, it feels like a collage made by a person who has taken a high dosage of hallucinogens. The director who gave us super hits like ‘Upkaar’ and ‘Roti, Kapda aur Makan’ had lost his magic touch in this movie. You see the movie with the hope of catching the glimmer of art you had expected from such a renowned director. Each scene from this movie is a gem in itself and the transition from one scene to another is like taking a bumpy ride in an auto rickshaw on a potholed street. Even before your innards can recover from one violent jerk, you are already assaulted by another one. The entire movie feels as if the director is flogging a horse which died from laughing too hard as the first scene rolled out on the screen.

      Director: Manoj Kumar
      Writer: Manoj Kumar
      Cast : Manoj Kumar – Bharat
               Ashok Kumar- Pitaji
               Rajendra Kumar- Khan
               Rekha- Sneh (Old Flame)
              Anita Raj- Pooja – Gymnastics babe
              Mohammad Ali- Ram
              Zeba- Mrs. Hooky/ blood seller
              Rajiv Goswami- Balaram
             Sonu Walia- Ms. Torn Jeans aka Sonu
             Prem Chopra- Sadhuram
             Satish Shah- Sharma – Bharat’s immediate boss
             Sonika Gill- Tulsi
             Om Shivpuri- Jindal
             Dina Pathak- Bharat’s Mommy
      Genre: Clueless or maybe Comedy
      Rating: Not to be missed. Must be seen at least once.


       

      Sunday, 11 July 2010

      Winner of Caption Contest 9

      I am sorry friends for not responding to your comments on my posts. I am quite tied up with packing and will read all your wonderful posts once I have safely landed in India. Thanks for being patient.

      This is caption contest ‘You think you are funny?’

      The winner of the 9th  edition of the caption contest are :




      1) Hayaah: "Oh Boy! That's definitely not gonna dry when we land!"

      2) Nalini: "I see dead people"

      Congratulations !!!

      Please drop me a mail at  and I will mail you the trophy.

      Hope to see you all this Wednesday for another round of Caption Contest.